Handling the end of a relationship is one of the most challenging things you’ll have to do. Nobody is prepared for the feelings that follow, even if the breakup is desired by both parties involved.
Why do couples put an end to their relationship? Do men and women have different reasons and different coping mechanisms? A few essentials need to be understood in order to improve relationship dynamics or move on after splitting.
Why do Men End Their Relationship?
Studies suggest that men and women tend to end their relationships for different reasons. Although there’s no universal formula, there are a few common factors that make men give up and leave:
- Women are overly-dependent on their friends: men tend to be irritated when friends are allowed to have a say in the relationship. Some women that tend to be overly-dependent on the opinions of other can have a relationship problem.
- The same applies to family: a family that is overly-involved in the relationship could also lead to its demise.
- She needs to spend too much time together: the best relationships involve a bit of alone time. Girls that want to do everything with their partners risk losing it all. Some independence and freedom are needed, giving both parties a chance to enjoy their favorite activities.
- She wants a commitment he’s not ready to make: many ladies commit the mistake of wanting too much too fast – marriage, kids and family are some examples. A man who isn’t ready for the next big step will eventually feel tempted to leave the relationship.
- Excessive criticism: it sounds like a cliché but the girl or the wife that nags all the time is a real person. Some men can put up with constant criticism but the vast majority will decide to leave.
When it comes to ending a relationship, women tend to focus on different problems than the ones that men have to deal with. Studies also suggest that women are the ones to initiate a break up more often than men. There’s a wrong understanding that women put an end to a relationship mainly because of their partner’s infidelity. Several other reasons tend to be much more prominent:
- Lack of maturity: most women looking for a serious relationship want maturity and stability from their partners. Unfortunately, some men aren’t ready to provide the depth and commitment that ladies need.
- Lack of support for career development: though we’ve come a long way in terms of equal rights, there are still numerous men that don’t support their partner’s career aspirations.
- He works too much: another common problem stems from the inability to spend quality time together. Many men are so devoted to earning enough and building a career that they neglect their families.
- Poor communication: if he doesn’t listen and he doesn’t share, a woman will be very likely to either seek change or end the relationship.
- He takes a partner for granted: with time, some men will stop showing the women in their life love or appreciation. Nice gestures, gifts and passion disappear. Taking a partner for granted is a serious problem that often leads to break ups.
Apart from having different reasons for ending relationships, men and women also tend to cope with breakup in highly specific ways. Psychologists have found out that men are the ones that tend to suffer more because a relationship has come to an end.
The changes in lifestyle accompanying a break up are partly to blame for the fact that men are hit harder by separation. Many men are likely to turn to alcohol and cigarettes as a source of comfort after ending a relationship. Their nutritional choices are also likely to end after they lose a partner who previously pushed them to make healthier choices.
Women tend to have a healthier support system, which makes it easier to deal with the emotional impacts of a break up. Men don’t have the same support. In fact, many men may have nobody to turn to for comfort after separation because they used to share everything with their partner.
Some research even suggests that even if they have the right type of emotional support from friends and family, men are likely to refrain from getting assistance. Since they tend to keep it all inside, guys will need a longer period of time to deal with separation from a partner.
A Guide to Overcoming a Breakup
Whether you’re a man or a woman, chances are that the end of the relationship has hit you really hard. Giving yourself some time to grieve and to heal will both be essential for moving on in the future without carrying tons of emotional baggage.
1. Don’t isolate yourself.
Social interactions and keeping yourself occupied will stop you from experiencing despair and intense regret. Even if you don’t feel like it, get out there and spend time with your friends. The people that love you will be more than happy to assist you during such rough periods.
2. Refrain from engaging in new relationships.
Many people fear loneliness so much that they could make impulsive decisions about starting a (bad) new relationship. Take some time to heal. Being on your own and taking good care of yourself will deliver much better results than immediately jumping in a new relationship.
3. Use positive phrases.
Yes, a few positive phrases and affirmations can be particularly helpful for getting over a breakup. “I will find someone better” and “I’m going to be happy” can change your life. Stand in front of the mirror first thing in the morning and tell yourself something positive or encouraging.
4. Don’t do the “what if” game.
The relationship has ended and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Blaming yourself and thinking about “what if” is far from productive. In fact, playing such scenarios in your mind can slow things down and prevent you from moving on.
5. Stop thinking that your ex was your (only) one true love.
Though this feeling is normal in the beginning, it’s far from productive or healthy. There are dozens of nice people in the world. Many of these people would love to be in a relationship with you. Let go of your ex. Comparing all potential new partners to a former spouse or significant other will lead to a vicious cycle and keep you from experiencing relationship happiness.
If you can’t deal with a break up on your own, you may want to seek professional help. A therapist will identify the factors standing in the way of personal happiness, help you deal with the negative emotions and give you reasons to move on and feel happy again.
By Couples Clinic